Tessuti Isla Top, Take 2!

DSC_6076

I’ve been enjoying wearing my first Tessuti Isla Top  (more than expected, to be frank!) so inspiration struck to make another version in some lovely bamboo I picked up for half price!

I love this colour, and find myself choosing it again and again, even though it’s it’s darker than the teal I consider “ideal” for my palette. There’s no denying how it makes bright accessories pop! But picture it, for example, with black or dark grey pants and a dark necklace, and I’d be all washed out. Ahh, colours. I find you endlessly fascinating!

Tessuti Isla Top in Teal Bamboo

Every time I touch bamboo jersey, I remember how superior it is to plain old rayon – so spongey, so buttery, with that lovely heavy drape. (Gushing about bamboo reminds me of this old post: The Pros and Cons of Rayon Knits!) I also bought some bamboo French terry, so let me know if you have suggestions what I should make with it!

Tessuti Isla Top in Teal Bamboo

The down side of bamboo or rayon is that they can show every undergarment or roll. I think this garment avoids that pretty well: snug at the arms and hips, but loosely skimming over what is in between! For this version, I tapered in the hips by 2″, so it sits snug at the hips, and the rest naturally blouses above.

Tessuti Isla Top in Teal Bamboo

(That is falling snow, not dandruff!)

Counteracting all this volume is a new pair of store-bought jeans! I admit that buying clothes feels a bit like cheating, but it’s been years since I finished a no-buy pledge, and really, sometimes it’s just the sensible choice. I haven’t been motivated to put in the 5 hours to make even simple jeans lately, so I bought these instead. I love my Cone Mills denim, but I wish we could also buy a wider range of denim washes, weights, and degrees of stretch.

This pair has at least 30% stretch, and is a nice soft cottony-feeling mid-weight, not like so many stretch jeans that are thin and have a high poly content. And yet… these buggers ride down all day, because I need an inch or two more height in the back! But fear not – I’ve figured out a way to fix them, and I’ll be back with a tutorial soon!

How often do you buy RTW, and does it ever make you feel guilty? And what should I make with 1.6M of navy lightweight bamboo French terry? 

 


51 thoughts on “Tessuti Isla Top, Take 2!

  1. I have to help chaperone a choir group this weekend and don’t have any decent PJ’s- I have the perfect flannel but no time! So will have to by some RTW :-(. Your French terry would make a delicious cardigan!

    Like

    1. I used to dread Pyjama Day at school, because I don’t have any publicly-presentable pjs either! Hope you can find some nice ones!

      Like

      1. Well, I live in a small, rural town and have come to the ‘big city’ – I had some time to spend, and found some cute stuff… no denying the convenience of RTW!

        Like

  2. It’s interesting you find that too dark a colour for you. I think it is quite flattering, but I’m only seeing pictures and not what you see IRL.
    I buy wool t-shirts (long- and short-sleeved) from Costco. They are made in Canada so someone has already done the ‘carbon footprint’ part by importing large quantities of wool jersey so I don’t have to. They are well made and at a price point that I couldn’t do myself, fabric or time-wise. The lady doth protest too much? Perhaps, but I really don’t fell guilty about it. I also buy my jeans as fitting jean (small waist compared to my hips, flat bum, athletic thighs {as the jean store employee told me}) is a trial I really don’t feel like undertaking, tho’ I am trying to make a pair of trousers.
    I have some bamboo jersey in the stash. I should add it to the queue.

    Like

    1. My parents have bought those Costco merino shirts too! Same thing – I couldn’t sew them something comparable as cheaply. Speaking of pants, we’re doing a pants month in February on the Curvy Sewing Collective, which will have some good roundups of all the best pants resources on the internet – might be useful for you! 🙂

      Like

  3. I’m also loving this color on your. But I love this color on ME so that may be influential. Hah. I feel zero guilt about buying RTW. The only problem I have with RTW is finding something I like *and* which fits. Side note re RTW: I helped a friend out this weekend by removing a sewn-in waist tie from a new RTW knit dress and resewing the seam without them. No big deal; it only took about 30 minutes. But OMG I was aghast (and I never say aghast) at how poorly it was sewn together. Coverstitched hems were unraveling (I fixed by anchoring), serged seam allowances were so sloppy. I feel better about buying RTW that isn’t “disposable.”

    Like

    1. I wore this shirt to school the other day, and a coworker who has really similar colouring to you was wearing the identical shade of teal – I guess there’s no denying it works! 😉 Re RTW, that’s appalling! I’m glad you were able to fix up the dress for your friend!

      Like

  4. I love your top and the teal color is splendid on you! I buy ready to wear only occasionally, and when I do, it’s almost always for pants or jeans . I’m with you! The denim fabric options aren’t always the best. When I allow myself these purchases I do feel (slightly) guilty, though…

    Like

  5. If I’m honest with myself, purchasing quality RTW makes me feel less guilty than buying inferior (material, craftsmanship) RTW. Although I would prefer wearing all me-mades, certain items elude me, such as jeans and lingerie. As in all things, pick your battles! As for bamboo French terry? YUM!

    Like

    1. That’s a great observation! I did buy some $6 camisoles from Walmart a while back, and the strap broke off as I tried one on… luckily I could sew it back on, but what an absurdly low standard of quality!

      Like

  6. Those jeans are pretty cute, Gillian! I’ve been putting of making jeans forever, but now i’m even less motivated because I’ve found the Melissa McCarthy ones fit so well, they come up super high in the back which I really appreciate. Thought I would pass that on in case you are in the market for more jeans 😉 I’m trying not to feel guilty about not sewing jeans, but I’ve been changing sizes a bit so I can totally justify that its not worth the effort until things stabilize, right? I’d like to try it at some point though!

    Like

    1. Duly noted! I’m not sure that her clothes are sold anywhere in Canada, but I guess since I order so much fabric online, I could do the same for actual clothes! 😛

      Like

  7. When I buy RTW, I stave off any feelings of guilt by reminding myself that I take care of my clothes, even things that were designed to be disposable. I had a pair of inexpensive pumps that I wore all the time to work that lost a heel cap. When I took them to a shoe repair store, the clerk behaved as though I was wasting my time on such cheap shoes. But I had them fixed anyway, and continued to wear them until they fell apart, long after their intended life span had ended. Would I have preferred to have a nicer, more durable pair in the first place? Sure, but I bought what I needed at a price I could afford at the time, and I made it last. I feel that the way you treat your things can be as important as how much or where you buy. It’s all part of being a conscious consumer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a great anecdote! I has some super cheap things that have lasted a long time too, and I agree, it’s worth taking care of what you have and making it last!

      Like

  8. I buy RTW when I don’t have time or the skill to make. I have to say maybe 1 piece in the last year? I try to buy only staples that I will have for years, not things that will fall apart. As far as the french terry goes, I have seen some wonderful french terry shorts made!

    Like

  9. I don’t feel guilty about buying RTW, but I *do* take issue with the quality for the price quite often. So many times I try something on, and assuming I like it (which is rare, if I’m being honest) I look at the stitching and decide to just make my own. Jeans are a different animal though–it’s so hard to find nice denim in any wash that doesn’t cost more than I am willing/able to spend on that amount of fabric. I’ve found some $20 jeans at Walmart that fit well enough, and are within my budget, so I deal with them. Especially since my inner thighs will destroy a pair of jeans in no time flat–it’s hard to make my own knowing that they won’t last any longer than my $20 pair, but will cost at least as much + all that time tediously switching between topstitching and seaming.

    As for french terry, I can’t wrap my mind around it–all I can picture is towel fabric, and I can’t think of anything to make with it besides a bath robe! Maybe if I saw some in real life I’d have a better idea. 🙂 So is bamboo fabric more durable than rayon? Because I love me some rayon, but I’ve never been able to justify ponying up for bamboo when I have serious concerns about the durability (because I know that rayon isn’t always durable, but usually it’s cheap enough that it’s OK…I’ve never seen cheap bamboo).

    Like

    1. Till I saw French terry, I couldn’t imagine it (even though I owned something in the fabric?!). It’s not like bathrobe material. It’s stretchy and much thinner – very soft. And my take on bamboo vs rayon (which is really one sort of extruded cellulose fibre vs another) is that all the regular rayon I’ve found is thin (sometimes a bit see through). Bamboo is more robust. It has better hand and drape but it’s thicker, so not as good for, let’s say, a midsummer tank. I’ve never seen cheap bamboo either. But I can say that it wears much better than the regular rayon.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. French terry is LOVELY! It’s drapey and soft, and looks like ponte, sweatshirt or jersey from the outside (aka a smooth knit face), and has delicate little loops on the inside.
      K-Line is spot on about bamboo vs. normal rayon: I’ve never seen thin or low quality bamboo. It’s always medium weight and gorgeous! I’m wearing a bamboo top right now that I sewed 3 years ago, and while it’s slightly pilled, it’s overall in great shape. Worth the expense from time to time, I think!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The tutorial is coming right up – except I got distracted by sewing the new Closet Case Patterns dress, so that is now posting first! 😉

      Like

  10. I love, love, love this colour, and I think it looks great on you. If you can find what you want in the shops and you want to buy it, then there’s no way on earth you should feel guilty.

    Like

  11. These days I buy RTW practically all the time. The plus is that I have so many clothes already (RTW and handmade) that I don’t need to buy much so at least I’m not reminding myself on a regular basis that I have no time to sew. I miss sewing but I know this is just a moment, in the scheme of things, and I’ll get back to it when I move (if there’s space for me to bring the machines). Worst case scenario, I won’t be able to sew again till next fall so I’d better get comfortable with buying things 🙂 Buying doesn’t make me feel guilty. It’s buying crap I don’t need that does that. Happy to say I do that less as I get older.

    Like

    1. Almost all of my cardigans are second hand, but I struggle to find other clothes in good shape and good sizing at the thrift shop. Any tips? Do you have good luck finding shirt, pants, etc?

      Like

  12. Love the shape of that on you.

    I buy RTW a few times a year: t shirts, leggings, knitted sweaters, and underwear are all things I don’t like to or can’t make. It’s odd though, I hear so much in the blog world about how RTW is more expensive and poorly made than homemade clothes, but where I live (UK) it’s the opposite. I can never get my topstitching as neat as it is on store clothes, or bindings as even. And as for the prices…the fabric alone for a garment made by me is often as much as the RTW equivalent, and then there are time and notions to consider. But my homemade clothes fit better and are so much more comfortable than shop bought ones so I carry on sewing.

    Like

    1. What an interesting observation! Would you say the same is true in high end or low end stores? I”m glad you can get good quality clothes – but I agree, me-made is always the best fit! 😉

      Like

      1. It’s certainly better in posher shops – All Saints is always beautifully finished – but I was very happy with a couple of Primark nighties I bought for going into hospital and that’s certainly the cheap and cheerful level in the UK. And baby clothes…what you can get for a few pounds just boggles me. My kid is 3 months and has a shirt with proper cuffs, collars with a stand, and pockets. And that came from a supermarket.

        Like

  13. Lovely top, that colour is very pretty! I’ve been thinking about kimono tops for weeks, but still working on my winter coat, so I’ll get at least a bit of use out of it this winter… I seldom buy RTW, mostly because my wardrobe is full to the brink already and I hardly need any new stuff. I’d totally do it if it was something I needed and couldn’t source the appropriate fabric, or if it was something I wouldn’t enjoying sewing.

    Like

    1. Oh man – you are reminding me that I have all the materials to make a Clare coat in this exactl colour! i should just pay someone to sew it for me at this point! 😛

      Like

  14. It’s such a rich, pretty teal! I haven’t worked with French terry before, though, so I’d be hard pressed to make a good suggestion. Sorry. As for RTW, it depends. I’m generally much more inclined to buy that from thrift shops as opposed to new, since I do enjoy a good bargain hunt, and feel less guilty about altering or completely refashioning something that only cost me a few dollars, since RTW often has fit problems. My current wardrobe is definitely heavier on RTW than I’d prefer, but I guess allowances for pregnancy need to be made, right? (I’m still looking forward to when I can sew pants and jeans again, though!)

    Like

    1. Good point about feeling more free to alter thrift buys than new! I’d never thought of it that way, but you are right, it’s much less nervewracking. RTW second hand makes so much sense for maternity wear!

      Like

  15. I absolutely love that color on you! Though that’s also exactly in line with my typical palate, so maybe I’m just biased. I try to avoid RTW, but I bought a new winter coat last fall because 1) I knew I wouldn’t *actually* make a coat in time, 2) it was super on sale, and 3) I don’t trust my hypothetical handmade coat to help me survive the -15*F days (though I tend to severely underestimate the warmth of my handmade garments). But I assuage my buying-RTW-guilt by mostly shopping at Goodwill. That way I don’t feel like I’m contributing to fast fashion, I don’t mind so much if things aren’t perfect, and I don’t worry about trying to change it and potentially having to chop it up for scraps.

    Like

    1. Winter coats are worth investing in I bought a new one this year too – but winter lasts 5 months, so it only makes sense to have multiple options, right? Now I’ve got an ankle length down coat, a knee length one, and a shorter non-feather puffy coat for when it’s “warm”.

      Like

  16. I love that top. The fit, the shape and the colour and all gorgeous. Never ever sewn with French terry but if it is thick why not make a sweatshirt or a cardi? Handy things for this weather. I do buy RTW but mostly for work. I don’t buy much else at the moment but am not sewing either. I have far too much old, knackered and too small things hanging in my wardrobe so really need to assess and regroup on that one. Would feel too guilty buying anything new considering the size of my stash. 🙂 Xx

    Like

    1. I vote you cut yourself some slack and repurchse the basics you need… then spend you little bit of sewing time sewing something unique and fun!

      Like

  17. Love this shade of teal! You look good in pretty much everything you blog. 🙂 Ideas for French terry, hmmm – I’d do something boring like a sweatshirt, but pick a pattern with interesting seam lines and perhaps a different kind of hem (swing, gathered, ruched, etc).

    As for RTW – most of my go-to plus size options closed or moved away just at the time I was getting good at sewing my own clothes, so I no longer even know where to go if I want RTW. I stick to lingerie from Avenue even though I hate their bras, but everything else I need, I make. Last summer I found a rack of plus size clothing at Marshall’s and bought $100 worth of things because I was so excited…I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE shopping. I miss being able to spend my Saturday mornings browsing and trying things on.

    Like

  18. Great top and I love the colour! I hear you on the denim front. I have some “natural, prepared for dying” cone mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics that I’m excited to try dying this spring. I think it will be fun to have coloured jeans – one of the things I miss from RTW.

    Like

  19. Bamboo jersey is so awesome, isn’t it?!? I bought my first cuts of it late last year and was in awe. I love the color you used for this top (and I think I have some? Maybe?) even though I get what you mean about how dark it is and needing to style it differently.

    I have occasionally bought RTW since learning to sew, though I generally dislike doing so. It’s partly an ethical thing, but partly an obsession with my hobby: I’m so excited that I *can* sew that I want to sew everything for myself and be my own “brand” in that sense; having full creative control is another big factor. (Underwear is the one thing I am happy to shop for–I can’t be bothered to sew it.) But I still rely on RTW pieces from several years ago to get dressed, and a lot of that is at a point where it’s looking shabby and needs a revamp, and I can’t sew fast enough. I got a tip about a going-out-of-business sample sale at The Limited (a pricey mall store that specializes in women’s officewear and put-together-casual looks) a month ago, so I used that as an opportunity to pad my wardrobe until I can catch up with sewing. If I don’t get any summery dresses made this Winter/Spring, I’ll probably have to go hunting for those, too.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s